Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dear Blog teaching buddies...

Back me up,

I just got the following e-mail, more or less, from a student.. it is Thursday night....

Dear Prof,

I was very sick on Monday and couldn't make it to class. I have class immediately before the exam, but I would like to meet with you for an hour or so at 11:30 on Monday to go over some things.

sick student...

My response:

Dear sickie --I can't be on campus at 11:30 on Monday. I have office hours at 1:00, your exam is at 2:15. Due to big-deal class cancelling event, I won't have office hours on Tuesday. If you think you need more time, you need to make-up the exam on Wednesday at 1:00.


What I didn't say --

Dear Faker,

hmm, a little late -- did you just notice that there is an exam next class period? You've been mentally AWOL for a while now, haven't you. Also -- since when am I at your f-ing beck and call? and, I'm not in the mode of judging how sick someone has to be not to come to class. You are an adult and you will either pass or fail this class at your own will. If you can't follow simple directions like, 'get the names and numbers of a few classmates', then you have larger issues.. besides, having a little runny nose wasn't a good reason to miss high school and it isn't a good reason to miss college either. The difference between high school and college is twofold: First, you are paying for your classes and will have to pay to re-take them. Second, just because we don't call your mom to see where you were when you miss, doesn't mean that we won't cover new stuff in class.

In some small way I hope the exam is painful for you. It will teach you that when I hold class and you decide not to come, you WILL miss something. The only question is whether or not you'll be able to catch-up. Put on your running shoes and your thinking cap and get to work.

prof who refuses to re-teach class in her office.

I'm feeling a little mean for not going in early to meet with sick student. That is my soft side -- maybe I'm having a weak moment or something...

On the other hand, 11:30 on Monday has never been part of my office hours, and for good reason.... For example, this weekend I'm going to Missouri with my debate team and if they do well I'll be lucky to drop them off at school by 1 AM on Monday. I also teach late on Mondays and usually don't come in until almost 1:00... because I like to have a life and the time I can do so is MW mornings. Being on campus at 11:30, reliably, with a parking spot and all, means I really need to plan to be there at 10:50 when the previous class gets out and some of the mall-rats I call students hop in their cars and zoom off like they are escaping high school.

I guess I'm also irked because I didn't get this e-mail on Monday. I would have suggested they come in on Tuesday afternoon sometime, when I was hanging around waiting for a meeting anyway -- if that didn't work, I'd have suggested some of my other 5 office hours I have this week.


T-Mac said...

This is the right call, don't stress...I never understood people who skip classes that they're paying for. Go figure.

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

I agree. 1) No, I'm not going to go over the class again in my office. Read the book. Get someone's notes. 2) The student doesn't get to pick the meeting time. That's why we have office hours.

After reading this post, I find myself getting all pissed off at students I had in the last few years. I'm very glad to not be teaching right now. :)

Seeking Solace said...

You did the right thing. I tell my stufents that I do not re-teach lectures during office hours. If they are absent, it is up to them to get the notes.